Tuesday, May 20, 2014

False Start, A.K.A., "The Bachelor Party"

This past weekend I got a chance to visit with friends and family I hadn't seen in forever and a day. So my grand, ambitious plans for food prep in committing to this Paleo thing got.... uhm, deferred.

What did I eat, you ask?
Oh, pretty much everything on the do-not-eat list. And it was GLORIOUS.

Ice cream, pizza, toast, maple syrup covered pancakes, sausages, sandwiches, rice, noodles, ravioli, sauces, more ice cream, more toast (PS, 15 grain), and then MORE ice cream. But there was salad and beef in there, too! THAT's Paleo, right?

Ok, ok! Let's just call it... the bachelor party before the wedding.

Everyone was totally calling me on it while I was enjoying all this deliciousness, too. Which I absolutely deserved. Among the quips, however, some interesting questions came up.

Dairy is verboten, so why is butter allowed?
According to this article I found, the structure of butter is very similar to healthy animal saturated fat. Interesting. Sounds like it could just be an elegant excuse to cheat, but if they say it's ok, I'm taking it.

Is Maple Syrup allowed? Technically, cavemen could chew on trees if they wanted to...
I had to look this one up. Yes, it's allowed. (Not that processed chemical stuff, though, obviously.) Real maple syrup, like Agave nectar and honey, can be gathered and is therefore allowed.

Oatmeal is healthy. So why is it not allowed on Paleo?
Turns out this is quite the debate! This article in particular has lots of voices chiming in about the pros and cons. Arguments against oatmeal include that it's technically a grain, it's high in carbs, fiber (how is this a con?), and it contains something called phytic acid, which most grains have and which is really bad for your digestive tract. Also, apparently, other wheat gluten contaminates oatmeal during the processing stages.

One proponent of oatmeal consumption offers a recipe for clearing the gluten out. (Same article above, second comment down.) It reads like a chem project and takes 24 hours to complete. I... I think I'll just skip the oatmeal for now....

To Salt or not to Salt?
Funny story, salt is another point of debate. The loudest anti-salt argument says that salt was technically not available to cavemen. My first thought is that I'm pretty sure anyone near any ocean knew that the big waters were salty. I like to think someone thought to dip a bit of dried meat into it and see what happened. Or maybe dropped it in by accident and was the first ever user of the '5-second-rule'.
And even if they didn't...
My second thought is that if we're determining whether foods should be labeled Paleo or not based on their availability, I could easily argue that any number of Paleo foods should be stricken from the list because of the limited regions in which those foods grow. So, booyah. I'm keepin' my salt.

As I run into more and more questions like this, I'm realizing that this diet's rules are somewhat open to interpretation. The whole idea that butter is okay because it's like an animal fat, sounds shady to me. If you think about it, isn't that how we got to this processed-food society in the first place? Splenda is like sugar and Lean Cuisine is like real food. Crisco is like Lard. (Crisco is also like plastic, but let's not go there.)

So I'll try to stick to the basics my own way and see what happens. Last weekend might have been a false start, but you know what? It wasn't a binge and I have absolutely no regrets!!!!!

Yesterday I went food shopping and got this project actually rolling as I planned. I'll report on that next. :-)

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